Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's a White Christmas In Springfield, MO!

We are so thankful for family this Christmas!  Our family continues to grow!  This is Austin's very first Christmas break from college.  It has been quite an adjustment for his parents.  We are so excited that he's doing well and that he is enjoying his college experience, but we also miss having him close to us.  We know that these feeling are all part of watching your children grow up, and we have gained so much appreciation for our parents as they watched us grow up and become adults.  I never realized it would be so difficult!  Having our family together for Christmas this year is priceless to us! 

Alex is now 16 and we are looking at him and thinking..."I can't believe we have 1 1/2 years left!" before he will be gone to college as well.  My, how the years pass!  We are anxious to see what direction God will lead him in.  He has not decided exactly which direction he will go in yet-he has many ideas, though!  He has grown up to be an incredible young man and we are so blessed to call him ours! 

Aaron is now, almost 12!  He enjoys playing "Call of Duty-Modern Warfare II" with Alex and on-line with Austin.  I never thought I would be "thankful" for on-line video games, but the "brothers" have definitely been able to keep in touch with each other, even though Austin is so far away from us!  This time spent playing games is a highlight for Aaron!!!  He also enjoys playing soccer and the Miami Dolphins!  For several years now the Aberle extended family have played fantasy football and I must confess...Aaron is my personal advisor when it comes to planning my team!  He seems to know the scoop on all the players!  Thanks to Aaron I've enjoyed several opportunities of Victory!  :-) 

This year for Christmas Austin met us in Springfield, MO where we've spent time with the Aberle Family.  I write this from Springfield, looking out on a mostly snow covered deck and a beautiful snow covered back yard.  We will leave the Sunday after Christmas to head home.  Austin is anxious to get back to Huntsville to spend time with girlfriend, Elizabeth.  We'll share our family Christmas together with her on Monday. 

Andrew got the kids all together and taught them how to play bells this year.  It was a surprise to all the adults and we so Greatly enjoyed it!  Here's an opportunity for you to enjoy it as well!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

It seems like I lose track of time every December. I've been so busy and daily activities have to get crammed in between the holiday festivities. We've been decorating the house, baking Christmas treats, shopping, cleaning, working for the church and trying to keep up with all the "normal" jobs that need to be done like blogging and school!

I have to admit, I love the joy that I find in thinking about the amazing gift from God. That special, one time only, gift of His Son! How blessed could we be to be called heirs of Christ! Especially during the Christmas Season! I LOVE thinking about what gifts to give to family, I LOVE the praying for them that I do as I think of each of them. This time of year lifts my spirits and draws me in to the amazing promises we get to share only because Christ came and died for us. I can't wait to see Him one day! I can't wait to tell him "Happy Birthday" face to face! What joy my heart gets just thinking about it!

I pray that those who share Christ with me will also be able to think past the "bah-hum-bug" and remember the bottom line of Whose we are long enough to remember that it doesn't have to be as hard as we make it!

Enjoy the shopping...Enjoy the blessings...enjoy the business, enjoy the lights and the love and then...Pass It On!

Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

World's Largest X'Mas Cake-In The Guinness World Records - The best bloopers are a click away

Monday, November 9, 2009

2009 Trunk or Treat

Trunk or Treat turned out to be GREAT FUN! As it always does...all the hub-bub of "getting ready" is finally concluded as we've finally cleaned up the "after-math" of such an event! I can now park my car in the garage! HaHa!

Alex created a game of his own based off the sport he He constructed his game with cardboard, paint and a carpet knife. The object of his game was to drop the ping-pong balls in the "outfield" for the largest number of pieces of candy. There were 2 levels, so a toss through a hole would drop the ball to the lower level of his game. They would then roll to the bottom center and Alex could easily pick them up and pass them on to the next gamer. It turned out really good and he enjoyed playing with all the participants.

As for the rest of us...when it was all said and done, we blew up nearly 4,000 water balloons, filling them with an average of 2 TBSP of water to keep them from blowing in the wind. As you can see...that's Aaron hiding under all those balloons!

We had 2 pools, one with water balloons, the other with a few water balloons but mostly it was filled with plastic balls. The object of the game was to find the "blue" balls that were marked with numbers (representing the size of the prize). There were appx. 10 blue balls in the large pool and about that many in the smaller one.

Children would lean over the edge of the pool and "swim" through the balloons to find the blue balls hidden as far down as we could keep them. Then they were turn their blue ball in to our "lead life-guard" (Aaron) who would exchange the blue ball for the appropriate amount of candy!

We decorated with beach towels, The Beach Boys in music (appropriately screened), a diving board, beach tide warning signs, a swim at your own risk sign, a rescue vehicle with flashing lights (my favorite part!) over head! We weren't sure if we'd be able to stay out of the rain so our whole station (including the nose of the truck) was under awnings wrapped with rope lights!

It is said that approximately 1,000 people from our community came to share in the games we had to offer. It was a Grand Night! To add to the excitement, we won 2nd place! You'll be seeing us at Tony's Little Italy to redeem our prize soon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

I've definitely lost my mind!

My Conversation with Lorna today proves it!

It went like this...

Ring, Ring (sound effect: Phone ringing in the background)

"Hello?" said Theresa after a briefly rushed feeling caused from trying desperately to find one of the three phones in her house.

"Hey, Theresa, this is Lorna. I saw that I missed a call from you today."

"Oh, Yeah...did I leave a message because I can't remember why I called you." said Theresa, puzzled.

Lorna replied, "No, but I was wondering if you had the DVD?"

(Long pause) "What DVD? Lorna, I have no idea what DVD you are talking about. Did I forget something?"

"The DVD for bible study tomorrow, you do remember that we have bible study at your house tomorrow at 12pm right?" questions Lorna.

"Oh, yeah...(long pause) I need to clean my house!" (Said completely under my breath, I thought...but heard loud and clear). "Wait a minute...tomorrow is the 22nd and our bible study starts on the 22nd, that's tomorrow! I need to call Jennifer! I have NO IDEA where the DVD is! I was trying to call her earlier about something else...but she's sick and I don't think she's taking any calls! Lorna, I have no idea where the DVD is! Maybe it's at the church! I wonder if Jennifer took it home with her??!" All of this was stated in a very quick, panic stricken tone of voice.

All in all, have no fear, we are ready to go! The DVD has been located and we should be ready by noon tomorrow.

However, I've definitely lost my mind!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A New Stage in Life

I am officially the mother of a college student! I can't believe it! When did all that happen?

I've had a really disappointing weekend. I really wanted to go and see what kind of pad Austin was gonna end up with...instead, I'm having to settle for pictures of his dorm.

He's having a great time meeting new people and being on his own. I really am happy for him...but part of me knows that it'll never be the same again. And that makes me sad. I wish I could've gone with Adam to take him. Maybe it's better that I didn't.

There are new things to look forward to. Like...Alex is going to get an interview with the Manager at Chick-fil-a! He's been wanting a job for a while. This might be his chance. Then he can get his drivers license too. That's the deal, no license until you have a job.

And Aaron! I can't believe he's 6th Grade already! Man, time flies. We will enjoy school together this year. Alex is taking some classes and Austin is gone. That will leave time for Aaron and I to "hang out" while we learn together.

So, all in will be different. But, I still have three boys that I love. No matter where they are...they will always know that they are loved! I thank the Lord everyday for them. I'm blessed to be called their mother.

Monday, August 3, 2009

That was the nastiest job EVER!

I guess it happens to everyone. But after smelling this weird...permeating smell for a couple days...and not being able to figure out where it is coming from...we found it! UUUUUUGGGgggggghhhhhhhh! know that feeling...the one that makes you want shall I say it...PUKE!!! Well, I had that feeling this evening. For whatever reason the refrigerator downstairs decided to quit working right. Yeah...the freezer decided NOT to freeze the food in it anymore.

So, sometime between last Wednesday (which was the last time I was in there) and Saturday...all the meat and "stuff" that was stored in it thawed out...and began to rot! YYYYYUUUUUCCCCCCKKKKKKKK!

At least there were no maggots...I guess it could have been worse. But I don't think I'll be able to get that image out of my mind for a while! Yikes!

My thanks to Adam for helping me clean it up!

Anyone want a refrigerator that doesn't work???

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Beautiful Barn Window

This is "home" in South Dakota. My Great-Great-Grandfather homesteaded this farm in 1874. The Homestead is nearly 140 years old, and the barn has been threatening to fall for many years. In an effort to "save the window" from breaking as the north side of the barn continues to slide off it's foundation, I, with the help of my Mom and Step-Dad, removed it and put it in storage until a time when I would be able to bring it home to Alabama with me.

Who would've thought that a nearly one-hundred year old barn window could be classified as Beautiful! Take a look for yourself! You decide!

I've had this barn window in storage for 5 or 6 years now and this past spring I was finally able to bring it home! Another disadvantage to living 1100 miles away. I had to wait until I had room in my vehicle to bring it home.

When we travel back to South Dakota we always stop in Springfield, MO. The home of Adam's parents. This past spring, I dropped my barn window off with Adam's mom. I asked her if she would use her artistic gifts to paint something on the glass. My idea was maybe some ivy or flowers or something. Who would've thought she would have made it so beautiful.

The most impressive part of this artistic project that when you look at the first see through the glass to see the painting behind it. So, instead of painting the background first and "growing" the scene from the back forward...she painted the front first and painted the layers going backward. Yes, she painted the scene on the "back" side of the window!

I think you'll agree, it turned out BEAUTIFULLY!!! Thank You So Much Lou Anne! You've made an old sentimental barn window even more precious to my heart! Thank you for reaching out, accepting me and loving me, making me a part of your family! I am blessed and privileged to call you my Mother-in-law!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Home after Christ in Youth Conference MOVE 2009

I enjoy very much taking teens to CIY! I like getting to know the teens and sharing Christ with them. There is nothing like watching youth worship their creator and watching them become convicted of how they can grow closer to Him.

This year was especially special. When we first came to Huntsville Christian Church I began teaching the 18 month olds. They were the "little people" in the nursery with Austin. Those children were Austin, Kirsten and others, most of whom are now gone. I continued to teach children (again, Austin's age) even up to the present time. The crazy part is that now...those teens will be moving out into the world on their own.

I enjoyed spending time with Casey, Helen, Kirsten and Austin (along with the other kids). But this year was different. This was my last event with them. I will miss them. That makes me sad. At the same time, I'm bursting with JOY at the choices they've made. Their faith is strong and it will pull them through to making wise choices. They all have plans to stay plugged into Christ. I am proud of them for planning ahead. I will miss them, and I love them.

This is also a turning point. Now I get to start a "new cycle" of students! There are new young teens to get to know. New challenges and exciting times to have! I can't wait to start planning for them and getting to know them! I've already begun praying for them daily.

Along with that goes the joy of watching my other 2 boys growing up and learning to trust God! What greater pleasure is there than to see your children's faith in Christ grow and to watch them making choices they feel God is calling them to make!

There are mixed emotions this year, more-so than most years...but I can't wait to see what Christ will do in the lives of these college students and in the lives of those who will still be here waiting to learn more about HIM.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Graduation Open House...Backtrack!

Well, It's finally real! Austin is officially a High School Graduate! When I look back I can easily remember the days when he was a newborn! It doesn't seem long ago at all! Just like yesterday, in fact!

But here we are! Amazing!

Cari and Alan came with the kids from Tulsa, OK. Andrew and Joy and their kids from Springfield, MO. Austin enjoyed playing games with all the kids! It was so sweet to watch him interact with them!

We had all kinds of excitement getting ready for the open house! We decided to slide the table over by the window...when we did...the light (that's normally over the table) was hanging so low that people were hitting their heads on it. So we removed it!

Another fun opportunity was the heat! It was a quite warm day...and our air conditioner decided to pick this weekend to quit. That's right...the funniest part of that was when the icing started falling off the cupcakes!

Needless to say, we enjoyed the back patio! It was cooler outside than inside, so we spent a good bit of time out there. We enjoyed all of the friends and family that came to visit!

Dad and Sandy came from Minnesota. This trip was actually their first adventure in coming to visit out home in Huntsville. We had a great time taking them around town and showing them the sites. One of my highlights of the whole week was taking them to the Space and Rocket Center!

Mom came from South Dakota-we enjoyed sewing a bag together that I used for our trip to Lithuania. Gene and LouAnne were also here from Springfield, MO. Thanks so much for all the help that everyone gave in decorating and making food!

Tom and Diane were not able to come...but they were here in spirit! Diane volunteered to make the table clothes! They are beautiful and I think of her each time I look at them!

Congratulations Austin! We are proud to call you our son! I consider myself blessed each time I thank God for you! You are truly a wonderful addition to our family! My prayer for you is that you will continue to grow your faith in Christ and that you will allow Him to lead in every decision that you make!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Theresa's Lithuania Trip

So, I guess today is the day I get caught up on some of the blogging that I haven't done in quite some time!!!

Where to begin...

In June (I can't believe it's already been a month since we were there!) my Grandmother took my Mom, Cousin Jenna, and myself to Lithuania with her. We were able to see a good bit of the country. From the Capital, Vilnius, to the coast of the Baltic Sea-Klaipeda & and Palenga, to the south region Druskininkai, and most memorable for me...Taurage, the town Grandma was born in and lived until she was 11 years old. Her family had to flee because of the war efforts between Germany and Russia.

I never realized before that most of the foods we ate growing up were Lithuanian! It was really neat that we could find food that we truly enjoyed. We never went hungry! It was all beautifully presented!

We also, had opportunity to meet one of Grandma's distant cousins and his family. I think that could have been one of the most memorable parts of the trip for me. Her cousin's name was Juozas. He is a historian and knew many of the people in Grandma's extended family. He was able to tell us stories (all recorded and in Lithuanian). His Granddaughter, Gabriele (17) was able to translate for those of us who speak English.

We were also able to get some information reguarding some of Grandma's Mother's family and we found out that she has a first cousin still living in Chicago. Grandma is anxious to reunite with him.

We also had a lot of fun touring the country! The rural countryside is beautiful, breath-taking really! It was very green and plush, there was a lot of flowers begining to bloom. Most families have vegetable gardens growing and taking up their whole yards. It was interesting to see the difference between American's who simply like to have "pretty yards" and Lithuanian's who use every square inch of their yards to produce their food for the upcoming year.

We visited the Hill of the Crosses. This hill was the site where the Lithuanian people-against their government rule-made the statement that they would believe in their God reguardless of what the government was forcing. People would cross the river secretly at night to place a cross there on that hill. It became a ritual for many to make at least a yearly trek to come and place a cross here. The Russian Army many times attempted to burn it down in order to stop the Lithuanian people from coming here. As you will see, it was to no avail. This site was incredible! To see Crosses that had been placed there...some a long time ago, some with names and dedications to people who had died...some, from people remembering the times of Russian Rule. It was very cannot express.

At one museum we visited Grandma found a swing like one her neighbor friend had. Grandma allowed me take many pictures of her as she reminisced about those days long ago. This was a moment I will not EVER forget!

Driving there was also something I will not soon forget! Translating all of the road signs was difficult...thankfully the tour guide drove the first couple days so that we could ask her a lot of questions about what signs meant. But the drivers there were pretty aggressive and some of the roads were very narrow! I actually got 3 driving violations in one! Thanks to Grandma who was able to speak to them in Lithuanian and "smooth things over"!!!

Violation #1...Speeding in a construction zone (right at the beginning of it...I was going 110 km/hr (the regular speed limit) in a 90 km/hr zone (because of construction). One thing I learned...Lithuanian drivers pretty much SLAM on their brakes ALL the time!

Violation #2...Who knew you were supposed to have your headlights one from September through June. -A new law, they have to be one because School is in Session-through June!

Violation #3...OK...So...The police officers carry a little white wand with a red dot on it...who would've guessed that when they pull it down and then up again in front of your vehicle it pull later!

What I learned...When a Police car flies up beside you and cuts you off, should stop! Hahaha! At least I got that one right! :-)

Thankfully Grandma convinced them that I didn't do it on purpose but that I simply didn't understand. One of the officer wanted to charge me 1,000 Litas (about $500), but the man writing my ticket said he would charge me only 100 Litas...then when I went to pay...he only accepted 50 Litas (about $25)-which Grandma felt bad, and paid for. Needless to say...I wasn't too excited about driving after that! (For the full story...ask me later!)

All in all, it was a trip I will never forget! I enjoyed spending time with my Mom and my Grandmother and Jenna, too! I thank the Lord for allowing me to share Grandma's homeland with her!

Here are a few of the nearly 2500 pictures that we took. Enjoy!

Alex's Haiti Mission Trip

While I was in Lithuania, Alex headed his way south to Haiti for a mission trip with Huntsville Christian Church. Some of the things they did there were...ran a youth conference...ran a VBS for elementary age kids...they built 2 benches for one of the churches there...hosted a party for the "grand moun"-the older generation of Haitian people.

The group crossing the river.

During Worship Alex's provided a little drum beat with a couple of rocks and his hands.

The Grand Moun (pronounced "Moon") party was thrown for the "elder" Haitian people! They loved singing and dancing and even playing "limbo"!

Soccer is a popular sport among the Haitian people. This was one of Alex's favorite times spent with the children. The Haitian kids wanted to play against the white kids! Needless to say...according to Alex...the Haitians won!

Alex really enjoyed participating in the youth conference because of the passion and excitement they showed for learning about God.

The Worship Team asked me to put together a video to show in church during the sermon the following week. Here is a link so that you can view it as well.

Yes, that's right...I now have a youtube account!


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trip To Lithuania

Well, We are off! After about 7 years of talking about, and planning...we are finally off. Grandma Hedy, Ingrid (my Mom), Jenna (my cousin) and I are heading out tomorrow. We'll be heading to my grandmother's home country. We'll do a little family genealogy research, get an opportunity to spend about a week in her home town,and do a bit of sight-seeing. We have been anxiously awaiting this trip for a long'll get to read about it as we go. (Hopefully, provided that the wireless capabilities the hotels rave about really work!)

So buckle up...I'll be attempting to upload pictures and stories every evening of our trip to share with family who are interested in being part of this trip with us!

I'll be heading to Chicago tomorrow...meeting up with Jenna...then off to Frankfurt, Germany where we'll hook up with Mom and Grandma. From there we will jump on yet another plane and head straight for Vilnius, Lithuania (the capital city). Enjoy the ride with us!

Stay tuned...there is more to come!

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Baseball Pants...$25; New Helmet...$40; New Cup...$15; Power of reuniting estranged brothers...priceless!!!!

A little over a week ago, Austin came to us and said he wanted to play Baseball. I have to say, we about fell over!!!

It has been a blast watching him pick up a glove and bat after so long!

So, he's playing on the JV baseball team for Covenant Christian Academy and he is LOVING it!

We were a little concerned at first because Alex is the team captain and we thought there might be some brotherly bickering happening...but so far so good. It has turned out that their relationship as brothers has actually strengthened and they are truly enjoying the time they are spending together.

Praise God for giving them an opportunity to grow closer together as brothers!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Road Trip!!!! Off to Ozark Christian College

Well, Austin and I (Theresa) are off to OCC tomorrow. Austin will be spending the night at the college and hanging out doing the campus tour and all. It seems that Ozark has all the amazing professors in the nation for teaching Youth Ministry.

Austin is very excited to get ready to move on to this next step. Austin plans to Major in Youth Ministry and minor in Counciling. He'll be sitting in on a couple classes - Mark Moore's Acts Class and Zeustiac's Youth Psychology class, then I'll join him for chapel and we'll meet with the financial peeps and eat lunch with the dean of youth ministry and the President of the college - if I remember correctly. Should be quite the experience. I sure hope I don't cry! hahaha! It truly is amazing to watch your children growing up.

Now if we could just figure out all the details, like, how are we gonna pay for this!???!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

CCA Presents "ALICE IN WONDERLAND" by Lewis Carroll

This week has been a crazy week for the Aberle Family. Alex had his debute in Drama. This school year, every Wednesday for 2 hours, he has participated in our school (CCA) Drama Class. He's had a great time. This week was the pinnacle of all of those classes. The class performed the play "Alice In Wonderland" 3 times this week, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday evenings. Alex had a Blast!

He played 2 roles. #1...the Horsefly. #2...the Card # 2.

The best part of the drama class for Alex was getting to know some of the others kids at CCA. He really enjoyed being the Horsefly!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Biggest Loser Cookbook

Ok, So I'm not usually one to buy into "diet" books. I hate most foods that are good for you. I feel like "good for you" food is usually boring and cardboard like. However, I've decided I Love this one and thought I'd share a recipe from it with you. I've learned that there are some "good for you foods" that I could actually enjoy eating!

The recipe is pizza. Here's the fun part...

Brown ground turkey or chicken with onions
dice bell peppers of all colors
brown turkey bacon (yes, turkey bacon)
pizza sauce
Whole Grain soft Tortilla Shells
shredded mozarella cheese

1. 8" Whole grain soft Tortilla Shells (bake them @ 400 degrees for 2 minutes on each side)-this is the pizza crust.
2. top with 2 TBSP pizza sauce
3. top with any variety of the above pre-prepared toppings

Bake @ 400 degrees until the cheese is melted.
cut and eat!

My kids loved it, and so did I!

I have made several adjustments to the recipe as it is written in the origional book, but just thought I'd share this one with you. I know Turkey bacon sounds yucky but give it a fair is REALLY good.


PS They also suggest substituting toasted whole grain english muffins for hamburger buns. MMMHHHMMMM!!!